COPAN Systems tops the news

On top of the storage news this week we saw the demise of COPAN Systems; or did
we? It really isn’t quite clear as to what has been going on over at as we have yet to
get any confirmation from within the industry.

Bill Mottram, a managing partner
at Veridictus Associates, and fellow Coloradan such as myself, was unable to contact the Colorado company for comment. Concrete information is hard to find regarding but we were able to
put a few pieces together from across the social sphere:

  • LinkedIn profiles have been cropping up that mark their end of employment date as December 2009.
  • Very little information is flowing in Twitterville but what quotes we were able to find further hint at the failure of COPAN.
  • Mike Davis: “COPAN definitely in shut-down mode. Too bad, would have been a great OEM technology. IMHO got hung up with high cost and custom hardware.”
    • Bill Mottram: “COPAN System closes their doors.”
  • Additional comments to Bill Mottram’s post on the Demise of COPAN Systems by anonymous users would make one wonder if former COPAN employees are starting to vent a little steam–pointing to the rumored failure:

  • Anonymous #1: Think you will be writing another obit soon for another storage start-up that has many of the same problems that COPAN had. This one though has burned through more than 1/2 billion dollars and still burning cash. With profitability 4+ years of shipping product, their destiny is out of their hands in the rapidly consolidating storage market. Who will bottom
    fish on them when its said and done?
  • Anonymous #2: While all the points raised in this post are accurate, there is only one reason Copan failed… the cost was way, way too high – ridiculously high with very little relative value next to other disk vendors.

Regardless of the eminent failure of COPAN,the underlying question that seems to be knocking on death’s door is whether or not MAID technology is viable. It seems to me, and to companies such as Nexsan, that deployment of MAID within the confines of what was initially perceived by
the research team at the University of Colorado lacks key components that take into consideration how most corporate applications operate.

Specifically, allowing for only 25% of drives in the array to be powered on at
any one time resulted in unacceptable application wait times as drives had to
be powered up. Clearly other implementations of MAID such as the AutoMAID technology available from Nexsan Technologies, with its MAID 2.0 implementation and allowing 100% of the drives in a Nexsan storage system to operate at full power helps in eliminating the inordinate response time delays caused by the “power up” design inherent in MAID 1.0 implementations.

And while virtualization isn’t “new” news I was a bit taken back by a statistic put
out by Gartner that stated only 16% of workloads are currently running on
virtual machines. Additional statements made, such as server virtualization is
not yet widely implemented makes me wonder when virtualization will BECOME
Pointing to the future, it would seem that come 2012, as predicted by
Gartner, virtualization will approach the proverbial hump where 50% of the
workloads will be running on virtual machines.

But will that be the big news?
Probably so but I’d venture to say, within the trenches, that the conversion
from physical to virtual and the sharing of virtual resources between physical
and virtual servers will be just as big.

Let’s face it, applications, such as
disaster recovery implementations, are extremely tightly coupled to the
physical servers they protect. Prying those applications off physical servers
and deploying within a virtual environment will be difficult.

Within a DCIG blog post, “Disaster Recovery is Definitely a “Start Small but Think Big” Application when it comes to Virtualization” we provided a nice list of the characteristics that
disaster recovery software, and other applications, should have in order to survive the

Because physical servers will probably always exist, key characteristics revolved around support for both physical and virtual environments, be OS agnostic, support heterogeneous applications, servers, and storage, and provide for the sharing of information across all environments.
Standing out in the above mentioned post was InMage with a software-based solution that meets these complex new requirements without imposing management complexities.

InMage’s collection of next generation data protection technologies such that it delivers in a “4 in 1” disaster recovery solution (backup, high availability,
fail over, and replication) recovers data and applications either locally or remotely for both physical and virtual machines. And the best advice for going virtual has always been to “start small” but “think big”; meaning that you may find very few recovery applications that meet the requirements for physical and virtual environments at the same time.
InMage stands out as a notable exception to this current DR reality that all sized organizations
must eventually confront as they go virtual.
Well, that’s the news that caught my eye this week.

Have a great weekend!

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